Here I am in beautiful British Columbia, after a harrowing drive through the windy mountain roads. Good thing my mother insisted on packing a sleeping bag, candles, winter jackets and boots, raincoats, rain boots, flares, winter chains and gallons of water.
I only made two of those up.
The drive was actually perfect, no snow or rain. It took us less then ten hours to get here.
My mother thought the drive was a great time to tell me of the ultimate demise of many of my childhood toys. You see, my parents basement flooded (sewage backup – I just threw up a little in my mouth). In the process of clearing everything out there were a few items that didn’t survive.
The My Little Ponies died a tragic death – even my favorite one with the cherries on her hip that smelled like cherry pie (and plastic). My Barbies all felt the effects of the Great Flood. I guess the makeovers I gave them, including fabulous choppy bobs, was all for nothing. The Spice Girls all lived to tell about it but their manager was washed away – gorgeous checkered jacket and all.
It’s a damn good thing my first toy survived – a stuffed rabbit (fittingly) that I affectionately named Bunny. Yes, I have always been so creative.
After I was done sobbing for the loss of my childhood, I realized we were halfway there.
A few last things before I take the week off and let my wonderful guest bloggers take over with stories of gaining employment, losing employment and hating employment (get ready for two weeks of Job Fair starting Monday!)
1. I got sick with the flu on Wednesday and wasn’t able to go out with Shy. I finally feel better this morning after losing about ten pounds (just kidding – I wish). He goes back up North the Sunday of the weekend after I get back from Vancouver (which happens to be Halloween weekend) so I’m planning on doing the Halloween thing with those guys. Hopefully I’ll have many stories to recount…
2. Pseudo called me last night at 12:45 BC time (1:45 Calgary time). He hasn’t called me in three months, and after running into his friends last weekend I really realized that I hadn’t actually thought of him in a while. Now he has to call me? What the hell is wrong with people. Good thing my phone was on silent.
3. Happy Thanksgiving to all the Canadians! You Americans have to wait for the delicious turkey, gravy, stuffing, potatoes, cheesy cauliflower and other deliciousness…feel free to rub it in my face when you’re eating it next month!
I splurge on Starbucks every once in a while, I take cabs a couple times a week – usually only late at night or on the weekends, I buy makeup and hair products at an alarming rate, I even go to the hair salon just to get my hair washed and blow-dried every couple of weeks.
On the other hand, I have almost no credit card debt (I’m down to $600), no student loans to pay off, and no car payments. I have a savings account with my rainy day fund and an RRSP with enough for a very small down payment on a house.
Therefore I think I’m in an okay position to talk finance.
Don’t get me wrong, life isn’t all peachy keen. I don’t wander around throwing money to the wind while singing a little ditty about my Monolos or diamond-encrusted Diva Vodka (neither of which I have ever owned) .
I’ve been so poor that I grocery shopped on my Bay (department store) credit card, the only card of 4 that wasn’t maxed out. My phone has been disconnected and I went without cable for a long time (partial laziness, partial brokeness, partial not caring enough to watch TV).
I had moved out of Douche-ex’ place where I paid $250 a month for rent and into my own apartment where I paid $900 a month plus all my own groceries, nights out and entertainment. That’s what I call a huge adjustment. I slept on a semi-futon chair for a month before I got a bed and ate more then any sane persons share of macaroni and ramen noodles.
Eventually I got adjusted, luckily I knew that rent came first and was never late with any payments, I started paying down my credit cards after cutting three of them up and acquired furniture – slowly.
I got my new job a year and a half ago. Better pay, normal hours, nicer people. I also moved to a different apartment (because my rent went up to $2100 a month – damn you “no rent control”! Obviously I moved before that rent came into effect) last year that is cheaper but still spacious.
Luckily my dad made me start an RRSP when I was 19. My work takes ten percent of my paycheque, matches it and puts it in my RRSP as well so I’m doing well on that front. It’s strange getting a letter every four months about the amount in there when I don’t even notice it missing from my cheque because I’ve never had it in the first place. It’s the best way to save.
I opened an ING account a year ago. I put ten percent of my income automatically into it off each cheque for my rainy day fund. With that money I’ve gone to Cuba and PEI, I’ve gotten many a pair of shoes, I’ve bought Christmas and birthday presents, I’m planning on flying to Victoria for Thanksgiving and possibly Hawaii in the spring.
If I didn’t automatically save money I would have spent that all on food, booze, and gawd knows what else. Instead I get to enjoy it. My dad wishes I would save it all and use it for something bigger (like buying my house) but you only live this life once and I’m going to enjoy the freedom I have to travel and have fun while I’m still young and single enough to enjoy it.
I can think of several stories off the top of my head.
A few years ago I had this wicked mid-length jean jacket (you know the ones with the faux-fur trim – so in at the time). I loved that jacket. It was dressy enough to go with, well, dresses and casual enough to go with jeans. Anyway, New Years Eve we’re all on a pub crawl, boozing it up, flirting with random strangers and dancing on the tables (naturally if it’s a table-dancing story, I’m with PartyGirl/TitBags).
The party-bus driver told me my jacket would be safe resting on the bus and I drunkenly believed him. As I stumbled my way into bar three of the evening, I carelessly tossed that jacket on a seat. It would be the last time I saw it.
For a long time I refused to buy a winter coat. Maybe this is because I don’t believe in winter and if you don’t believe in something it probably doesn’t exist. Am I right? Apparently not.
Winter still comes, that bastard. So I bought a long white, down filled winter coat. It had a hood and was like being wrapped in a fire. Only without the unpleasant burning sensation and 2nd degree burns.
Super Bowl Sunday I was playing football with a huge group of people before going to a pub to watch the game. Naturally after exercising like that you’re hot and have no need for down-filled jackets so I left it in my friends car.
Well, I ended up leaving before him. Without my jacket. He soon moved to Vancouver and the white coat has never been heard from or seen since.
I have a laundry-list of poor innocent coats left behind at bars: cute little black blazer (RIP), short gray 3-buttoned wool pea-coat, brown plaid jacket, long black wool coat, jean jackets (times two), and beige corduroy blazer (I miss you).
I thought everything had gotten better. I bought a few new trench coats (including an adorable red one), a couple of blazers, 2 leather jackets, a few fleeces, a nice HH snowboarder coat from my parents – things were looking up.
I had gone months without losing anything. I was being responsible!
Then my home flooded. I packed away most of the jackets (as it was the middle of winter, I had no need for a short sleeved cape-style jacket). The rest I took with me to my parents house where I ended up staying for 4 months while they gutted my home and rebuilt it.
As I unpacked my boxes after moving back into my place I realized that a few important things were missing.
All of my jackets that I had stashed away for spring/summer/fall.
Every. Single. One.
I think maybe the movers stole them for their wives. Then again, maybe jackets just don’t like me.